A real estate developer from San Francisco, who admitted to swindling his clients, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison. The accused, over a period of three years, had been defrauding his clients by lying about using their funds to purchase local properties. The accused, 32-year-old Maher Muhawieh, admitted to wire fraud. The perpetrator had been in custody from September 2010. This incident occurred when his bail was revoked by the district magistrate on the basis of violating the terms of release.
From January 2006 to March 2009, Maher Muhawieh gathered over $28 million from a minimum of 80 investors, the prosecutors said. They further added that instead of utilizing the money for renovations and other property related aspects, Maher used it for personal expenses and to pay off past debt. Maher also admitted that he managed to retrieve from certain real estate trust deeds, loans that proved to be completely 'good-for-nothing', the prosecutors added.
Most of the people that Maher duped were his own family members and close friends. One of Maher's brothers was used as a 'straw buyer' by him, for one particular property, the prosecutors added. Based on all the things that Maher had admitted to, $12.1 million as a restitution order and a sentence of eight years for the clients who underwent loss, was what the prosecutors had asked for.
Maher Muhawieh's lawyer’s statement
Lawyer of Maher Muhawieh, Stuart Hanlon, in a statement said that Maher was regretful for the crimes he committed. He also said that his client resorted to these offenses owing to the slump in the real estate market. Having mentioned this, Hanlon requested his client's sentence be brought down to three years.
Christopher Morales is an experienced San Francisco Criminal Lawyer. For expert advice from a San Francisco White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer on white collar crimes, contact us.